Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Non-ductile column buildings review update

Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister for Building and Construction

16 August 2013

Non-ductile column buildings review update

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson today announced 50 buildings have been cleared and another 24 excluded in the review into buildings with non-ductile columns.

The review began in 2012 to establish if there were any buildings with similar design flaws to the Canterbury Television Building, which collapsed in the February 22nd 2011 earthquake, killing 115 people.

338 buildings have been identified in the review, which is looking at structures of three storeys or more built between 1982 and 1995 that have non-ductile columns. Some buildings have been included because there wasn’t enough information to prove if they had non-ductile columns or not. Just because a building has non-ductile columns does not mean it is unsafe.

“Since March, the number of buildings to be reviewed has fallen by 24 after the initial information provided was further scrutinised and it was found those structures did not meet the review criteria, as they weren’t consented in the timeframe when non-ductile columns were allowed, or they were under three storeys.

“While the review has not progressed as fast as I would have liked due to a lack of engineers to complete structural assessments, information from Councils, which are dealing directly with building owners on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s behalf, is now flowing in;

• In Auckland, 47 of 193 buildings have been assessed by engineers and cleared.
• In Wellington, three of 60 buildings have been cleared. Wellington City Council is currently reviewing another 16 completed assessments.
• In Christchurch, three of 13 buildings identified have been demolished because of earthquake damage. Eight buildings are vacant, with the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority set to acquire the land. Problems were identified with one building and the owner has obtained a building consent for a structural upgrade.

“All Councils that have buildings in the review have been asked to provide MBIE an update on where assessments are at by August 23rd. I expect to be able to issue a further update in September.

“Disappointingly two building owners have refused to engage with the review. I find this appalling as the review is being done for reasons of public safety. I’m advised one final letter will be sent to these owners from their council asking them to get an engineering assessment.

“What has become clear during the review is the Building Act 2004 does not provide councils or the Ministry with adequate powers to address risks identified in existing buildings as a result of new knowledge. Building owners can’t be compelled by law to get an engineering assessment and participation is voluntary. I find this completely unacceptable and have instructed my officials to investigate options to increase accountability.

“It’s important to highlight that the CTV building failed catastrophically due to many more issues than just non-ductile columns, including a flawed design.

“Given the review is still on-going, it would be inappropriate for details of the buildings involved, especially those that have been cleared, to be released,” Mr Williamson says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Why We’re Not Getting An Inquiry Into The White Island Disaster

The Ardern government has made an art form out of reviews and inquiries- when to hold them, when to fold them, and when to shelve the findings, virtually untouched. Among other things, the WorkSafe criminal proceedings into the Whakaari /White Island disaster look like the outcome of a conscious political strategy. The government is choosing this route instead holding a proper inquiry, because it can conveniently narrow the focus only to (a) the events prior to the eruption and (b) solely to possible violations of our labour laws... More>>


UN SDG: A Greener, Cleaner, Brighter Future

'The world has a high fever and is burning up. Climate disruption is daily news – from devastating wildfires to record floods. The damage to people and the environment is immense and growing.' - UN Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>


Carbon Neutral Policy: Gov Declares Climate Emergency

The Government has launched a major new initiative to combat climate change that will require the public sector to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. More>>


Pill Testing: Govt Moves On Drug Checking To Keep Young New Zealanders Safer This Summer

The Government will pass time limited legislation to give legal certainty to drug checking services, so they can carry out their work to keep New Zealanders safer this summer at festivals without fear of prosecution, Health Minister Andrew Little ... More>>


Tax: Government Fulfils Election Undertaking On New Top Tax Rate

The Government will today keep its election promise to put in place a new top tax rate of 39 per cent on income earned over $180,000. More>>


Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels